Recommendations on Laptop for Parents

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by HoosBruce, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. HoosBruce macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    My parents' Dell laptop finally bit the dust (thank God) and they have asked my opinion on what they should get next, so this is my chance to offer up some suggestions for them. I am always recommending Apple products to any and everyone, and plan on doing the same in this situation.

    I'm not sure if the $800-1,000 price tag on a Refurbished Air will be very appealing to them, but I would still love for them to move into the Apple Mac OS ecosystem.

    I have been specifically looking at the early 2014 Refurbished 13 in Air model, but once again I am not sure if they will go for that high of a price tag. I would recommend an iPad, but I know they want an actual laptop, so that is out. They don't do a whole lot on their machines, but I would love to get them away from the Windows ecosystem (they both have iPhones as well) and away from all the bugs and viruses they have experienced and called me to help them with in the past.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Honestly, even if it's not an Apple product I am open for suggestions, but thought I'd ask here. Thanks.
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Have you checked the used market? In my area, you can occasionally find a used 2013 MBA for around $600 and that'll run anything current that you can throw at it.

    Or if you want to save some more money you can get something like a white plastic MacBook for $200-$250. It's easy to change out the RAM, hard drive, and batteries on those, so with some TLC it is possible to keep them running like new (better than new) although they won't be able to run the latest and greatest versions of OS X.
  3. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
    Check the refurbished listings often (daily). The inventory changes. I bought a refurb MBA at the end of November for $678.00. Looks like new and has new computer warranty. Very pleased.
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    if you parents have college degrees, they should not have any trouble migrating to a new OS, but otherwise old folks tend to not want to change, you may want to lent them your machine for a few days see how they feel about it. In your post, there is a lot of what "you want" rather than what "they want."

    To deal with viruses blah-blah, I assume they are not downloading new apps every day, keep good backups, which can be automated, and just GO-BACK to when it was not compromised, never mind spending tons of time running a virus cleaner and what not.
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    The change can be easy or hard regardless of age. Depends on how a person uses a computer and how willing they are to learn anything new.

    I know a few people (mostly family members) who switched to Macs in their 60s and love it.

    I know other people in their 30s who have tried to switch and failed.
  6. Y So Jelly macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2013
    My parents are also looking for a basic use laptop.. I am leaning towards this one (without the Office 365 BS) after playing with the 10" model today.

    I tried looking at 2011-2012 cMBPs but the cost of entry is too high for a 3-4 year old midrange laptop. If you can make them stretch to the refurb 2013 Air, do that. It's a great package.
  7. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    Why do YOU want them to move away from Windows?
    You are underestimating the power of comfort. They are used to Windows and most people will not accept change.
    I recommend looking at refurbished Dell Latitudes or Lenovo Thinkpads. Excellent business class laptops. $400 can get them a two year old Latitude E6430 or Thinkpad T430.


    Damn, now I need a college degree to use a different operating system!
  8. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    If there like most older people who simply use there desktop/laptop's to surf the web, then a Chromebook would be the perfect option for them.

    I'm also going to assume there eye sight is not the greatest,and that a 15"+ would be a lot easier then using a 13" or 11" laptop.

    Don't be thrown off by people saying there useless! I've used computers since 1979 and have tried every OS out there. I've used a chromebox (by asus) for over a year,and it really is a great machine for what it does.

    Therefore try looking at the Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571 on Amazon...It's 15" and has the faster Intel Celeron Dual-Core 3205U 1.5 GHz Processor vs the slower Arm cpu's. Don't worry about only 2g ram (it's fine for a chromebook) and the internal 16g storage (about 10g free) as they will get 100 gig googledrive storage.

    Best of all,as you say there fairly budget congest when it come's to buying a laptop,this one is only $249!

  9. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    Recommendations on Laptop for Parents

    I'm also going to agree that moving them to a Mac for the sake of getting them using OS X might not be the best idea. Obviously you know your parents better than we do, but will they be willing to learn a new OS? If not then it doesn't matter which Mac your get them because they'll still hate it. Keep that in mind as you decide what to get them.

    Just get them a decent Windows laptop, set up one administrator account for you to use to manage it (but password protected) and give them a standard user account to use so they can't download stuff randomly without your admin password. Then make sure to install something like Team Viewer so you can remote access into their computer and approve legitimate downloads and reject sketchy ones.
  10. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Again, I've moved older relatives to OS X and they love it.

    Not sure why you guys are so scared. I mean, yeah, they might hate it, but who knows?
  11. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    I'm not saying it because they're older. I'm saying the OP needs to take their personality/nature into consideration. It's about which route will be best for them, not which route the OP wants to take.
  12. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    I'd guess that the parents laptop was running Windows XP, Vista or 7, which are all similar enough. However, it's becoming almost impossible to buy a new Windows machine with 7 on it, so that means moving to 8 or 8.1 if they stick with windows.

    Either way, there's going to be some sort of learning curve. I'd actually wager that a transition from XP/Vista/7 to OS X would be easier than a transition to 8/8.1. Windows 8 is, in my opinion, a mess when it comes to shifting UI paradigms. That's not to say that it can't be done. My parents both moved from XP to 8 with the express forewarning that I wouldn't be able to help them as much. So far, they've done okay.

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